Sugarcane farmers seek higher prices, get bullets

One farmer was injured on Wednesday when police opened fire in Sangli district to control agitating sugarcane growers who, to press for their demand for better prices, were obstructing the transport of the cane and bags of sugar.

The firing took place when farmers clashed with officials of the Sarvoday sugar factory.

Pravin Patil, who was injured, was shifted to a private hospital. This is the second incident of police firing in two days in Sangli district, the hometown of Maharashtra home minister RR Patil.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has held a meeting with the farmer leaders but nothing emerged out of it.

There were reports of violence from other parts of the state also. In Kolhapur district, farmers attacked a police van.

They burnt an effigy of agriculture minister Sharad Pawar for his reported casteist remark against MP Raju Shetty, who is leading the farmers' agitation on behalf of their organisation Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, and is now in custody.

Government buses were set on fire in various places and police parties were attacked. Farmers have intensified their agitation by stopping milk collection for two days during Diwali. They have almost sealed all borders of Sangli district.

Chandrakant Nalawade, a farmer, was killed on Monday in police firing. Another agitating farmer was crushed to death by a truck in Pune.

 

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